By Nick Young, Westminster Synagogue
We undertook a complete review of our safeguarding policies over the summer of 2017. The policies themselves were several years old, and while perfunctory, we felt legislation, guidelines, training and safeguarding issues in the world that we live in, have moved on considerably since our previous safeguarding review. Our first stage was to establish the policies that were needed, with Reshet offering helpful signposted support. Next, we compared a number of policies of similar organisations both in and external to the Jewish community, looking for best practice to base our own policies on. We began to draft our new policies, ensuring they meet our own community’s needs as well as reflecting up to date legislation and guidance. Once that process was completed and signed off by our Education Compliance and Education Committees, we set about bringing our practice into line with the policies. We have ensured our education staff are well trained, with key leadership attending Designated Safeguarding Lead training provided by Reshet. Another important aspect the training highlighted was to establish links with our local authority, connecting with professionals who hold responsibility for safeguarding in our vicinity. The work of implementing the policies and ensuring that they are woven into the fabric of our operation is ongoing, and we know that this will continue to be the case as the sector moves on and the policies are reviewed annually. We are confident we are in a much stronger position with our safeguarding provision and are well placed to maintain this.